Trek Women
February 13, 2008

Know thyself…

Cupola Dateline New Year’s Day, Athens: Jen and I were stopped at a crosswalk and I had my map open, checking to make sure we were going in the right direction to see the changing of the guard at the Greek parliament. An older, distinguished-looking gentleman sporting a fedora and a nicely cut suit approached us. In one hand he held a fine leather briefcase, in the other a cake with “2008” iced on top.

He asked if we “lovely ladies” needed help. Upon hearing our destination, he invited us to walk with him since he was headed that way. I said, how could we refuse, he had cake. He chuckled and responded “Yes, Athens is a city of cake and kisses. Have you been kissed here yet?” Jen looked like she was ready to run; but I laughed and said, “I haven’t been so lucky, though I still have 24 hours before we leave.”

Turns out, the gentleman is a professor at the University of Athens. He told us the tale of how in Ancient Greece, wisdom-seekers were advised to “Know Thyself” before asking the Oracle at Delphi questions about their future. Strangely, it was the third time I’d heard the phrase in as many days and it’s stuck with me ever since.

Do I know myself? I have a decent idea of what makes me tick and what ticks me off. Am I myself?  That’s the interesting question. When I was overweight, I hid my feelings even if I couldn’t hide my body. Even now, 100+ lbs lighter later, I still find it really hard to put my self out there.  I guess I thought it would get easier.

As my friend Magnolia likes to say, “Can’t never could.” I started my year off with a stranger’s story to “Know Thyself”; but I think my direction for 2008 is to have the confidence to “Be Thyself.” Some cake and kisses would be nice too.

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